Located in the historical district of Bid Abad in Isfahan, the well-maintained museum of Ali Gholi Agha Bathhouse is worth visiting. Upon the order of a prominent court official of the last Safavid king Shah Sultan Hussein named Ali Gholi Agha, the bathhouse was built next to a bazaar, a mosque, and a caravanserai.
The structure is reminiscent of different periods of history as it was decorated with polychrome tiles and faience mosaic from the 17th century Safavid era and adorned with the murals from the 19th century Qajar and the 20th century Pahlavi dynasties.
Used by both genders at different hours, the bathhouse includes two main sections namely Sarbineh or the cloak room and Garmkhaneh, the pleasantly warm bathing place as well as water pools with a desirable temperature and diving boards.
The innovative section of the structure was Gav Chah, a special place in which a bull used to walk and pull up a leather bucket of water from a well through a slight slope, making the water reservoir get filled. Here, there are some clay pipes which used to transfer the water to the ponds of the bathhouse and provide the continuous flow of water.
As time passed and indoor plumbing became widely available, the popularity of the public bathhouse declined and as a result it was converted to an ethnological museum after minor renovations and waxwork decorations, providing an attractive tourist site to get to know with the lifestyles of past generations.
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